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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  December 18, 2015 1:00am-1:31am PST

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♪ >> announcer: this is "nightly business report," with tyler mathisen and sue herera. stocks plunge. the dow falls more than 250 points, and there's one very big reason why. taken into custody. the poster boy for hiking drug prices. martin shkreli arrested today for securities fraud. ding dong. server is calling. the private equity firm takes a big stake in one of the most recognizable cosmetics companies in the world. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday december 17th. good evening, everyone and welcome. and like that, the gains of yesterday are gone. stocks sank today snapping a three-day win streak and the reason why is a familiar one. falling oil prices. that dragged down energy shares like exxon and chevron two, dow
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components. and the rest of the market went along for the downhill ride. the dow jones industrial average declined 253 points to 17,495. nasdaq dropped 68. and the s&p 500 fell 31. as for domestic crude, it crossed -- closed, excuse me, just below $35 a barrel. $34.95. brent crude trading not far from 11-year lows. bob pisani takes a look now at the pressure from crude that's building over stocks. >> it's about the dollar and oil again. for the second time in as many days the market started on a positive note but then headed south when the dollar rallies and oil dropped and we closed at our lows. it's a lower for longer issue. many believe oil will stay lower for longer, well into 2016. so if oil's at $35 six months from now a lot of exploration and production companies might go out of business because they won't be able to get the financing to keep exploring. in part this is a supply problem. saudi arabia has refused to cut
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production and it's trying to drive u.s. shale producers out of business. they're all down but they're not out yet. who's going to blink first? we don't know. this lower for longer argument applies to several other industries. deutsche bank downgraded a bunch of steel stocks today saying they expect lower steel prices to continue into next year. as for the markets, if oil would stabilize there's a good chance we will rally going into the end of the year. and if oil goes up even a bit we could have a significant rally like 4% or 5%. that would be enough to turn a lot of accounts from positive to negative for the year. but if oil keeps dropping like today it could spoil any hopes for a year-end rally. for "nightly business report" i'm bob pisani at the new york stock exchange. martin shkreli indicted. the man better known for raising the price of a life-saving drug was indicted on criminal and civil securities fraud charges. his arrest had nothing to do with the 5,000% increase in the price of the 62-year-old drug daraprim but instead this case
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revolves around his time as a hedge fund manager and ceo of another biotech company called retrophim. and according to prosecutors he engaged in a web of sxliez deceit and ran his companies like a ponzi scheme. >> these charges in today's indictment highlight the brazenness of shkreli's schemes and the outrageous web of lies and deceit weaved by both defendants. >> attorney evan gabel was also indicted and late today shkreli was released on $5 million bond. meg tirrell has been following the story and she joins us now. meg, he's infamous for raising the price of daraprim. but these charges aren't related to that so exactly what are they? >> reporter: that's right. people think all this attention from raising the price might have put a target on his back. but really what he's being investigated and he's been charged with today relates to his activities before he founded turing. when he was a hedge fund manager at a hedge fund known as msnb capital and then at a company he
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founded called retrophin. he's being accused of seven counts of securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire frayed conspiracy. the department of justice saying he defrauded his hedge fund investors and misappropriated more than $11 million from retrophin which has since distanced itself from him, saying "he's using it as his personal piggy bank." has from the department of justice. he's facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and the fbi investigation is continuing. >> it was a big amount of bail. $5 million xwobond there. what does this mean if anything, meg, for the drug turing makes, the one the price was raised on so precipitously? >> reporter: it's an interesting question, tyler. he is out on $5 million bail now. his travel is restricted to this area in new york, but he's not allowed to talk to any current or former employees of retrophin or msnb unless they happen to work at turing. so it does appear at least that he will continue to run turing
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and efg he said so far is they're not going to go back on that price increase. it's a question we'd like more answers on. what is going to happen to turing as this unfolds. >> and meg, is there any timetable now for the next court appearance? >> reporter: the next time that he will appear in court is expected to be january 20th. and there are a lot of restrictions, again, on his travel. and he is subject to surprise visits from folks check up on him until then. >> all right, meg. thank you so much. meg tirrell in new york. to the economy now and more evidence of a strengthening job market. according to the labor department the number of americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000. federal reserve officials cited the job market as among the reasons for hiking interest rates yesterday. a different story for manufacturing. today a measure of economic activity in the philadelphia region fell back into negative territory. this is the third reading in the last four with a negative reading. the latest report is more evidence that the manufacturing sector is being hurt by falling
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commodity prices and weak overseas demand. >> consumer spending a key pillar of the economy, of course because it makes up a large portion of overall economic activity. this time of year retailers are doing everything they can to get last-minute shoppers into their stores and get them spending. courtney reagan has our story. >> reporter: the final weekend for holiday shopping is upon us. and retailers are hoping for a strong finish. shoppertrack says this saturday, often called super saturday, typically ranks second in terms of retailers' in-store revenue. black friday still number one. but monday and the day after christmas are also expected to rank in the top ten. according to the national retail federation, the final week of december can account for as much as 15% of retailers' holiday sales. and retailers are doing what they can to win shoppers' final holiday dollars, online and in store. kohl's is staying open for 170 straight hours through christmas eve. best buy also has extended hours leading up to christmas and
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automatic free two-day shipping for online orders made by tuesday morning. target is offering 10% off gift cards on december 20th and delivery in time for christmas for online orders placed by the 21st. >> certainly amazon again is having a spectacular season. but if you look at the list of the top four retailers online, you do notice that walmart and target are having a very successful season. clearly, the multichannel retailers are getting the importance of online, and i think they're doing pretty well at it. >> reporter: but unseasonably warm weather" of the country is hitting retail hard this year, taking a big bite out of winter-related goods, pushing retailers to discount deeper. the pressure comes from more than weather. lack of innovation in electronics has further depressed prices in that category. economist jack kleinhand warns retailers' tmly deep discounts
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coupled with higher consumer expenses like health care and rent is creating a very deflationary atmosphere for retailers. the bureau of economic analysis shows retail prices were almost 3% lower in october this year than last. good for deal-seeking consumers, not so good for company profits. looking at more than 150,000 shopper receipts, consumer market research company infoscout says as a result consumers are buying more this holiday season and it's costing them less. >> in order to make up the difference, retailers are having to sell more units at a lower price. you saw walmart do this with wrangler jeans for $10 a pair. you see many retailers offering promotions where they're make up for the lower prices on volume just by selling more product. >> reporter: but as the clock ticks toward christmas, retailers will also settle for just winning the sale. almost regardless of what it costs. for "nightly business report" i'm courtney reagan. so how critical is this last weekend of shopping for
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retailers and the economy? john kin nealely is the chaef economic strategist with lpl financial and he joins us now. john, welcome. ty was just telling me that he shops right down to the last minute. >> you had to tell everybody, sue. >> yes, i did. but in general, how critical is this weekend coming up? >> reporter: wel >> well, for me it's critical because it's my wedding anniversary. so very critical for me. for the rest of the economy it's critical but not as critical as it once was. we've seen a big shift just in the last five years toward more mobile, people buying things online. we heard earlier of that shift. black friday kind of matters less. and then sort of the gift card phenomenon's still there. so i think it matters but it doesn't matter as much as it once did. the warm weather i think is the wild card that we're going through. remember, last year it was cold and snowy at this time in the northeast.no now it's warm and 65 degrees. that's going to have an impact certainly. we won't know actually what's going to happen with this whole
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holiday shopping season probably until february. once we get the january retail sales with all the returns in them. so it might be a while until we actually find out what happened. >> but what's your sense of how stores are doing? >> you know, i think they're doing okay. if you look at some of the macro metrics there. so for example, a really good predictor of what's going to happen in holiday shopping is just to look at the stock market from kind of the middle of september until the middle of december. on that basis we're up about 6% or 7%. and that suggests that you're having a pretty decent holiday shopping season. other things that you can look at is household net worth. we just got that data for the end of the third quarter. household net worth at $85 trillion. that's up 30 trillion from the trough back in 2010. and it's 20 or so trillion above where it was in the prior peak. households feel more wealthy. that comes from gains in the stock market, gains in the bond market. housing prices up. and more importantly paying down debt. and against all that people are
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saving more as well. there's a lot of good things going on in the consumer. whether or not it translates into actual good sales in the fourth quarter is yet to be seen. >> does it matter the fed raised interest rates if the consumer is healthy and they're paying down debt, things like that? does what the fed did yesterday matter? >> i think for a lot of people it was the -- it may have the opposite effect. i know there's a lot of people out there who are saying i can't do anything, whether that's shop or make some new capital expenditures or buy a house or whatever it is until the fed does what it does. so now the fed's out of the way you could argue that that kind of clears the way for people to go out and shop and companies to go out and spend and shop as well. so i think maybe at the margins slightly it gets people to do more than they would have otherwise and over the long term i don't think it has a big impact at all. >> one thing you didn't mention there was incomes. they haven't risen very much. but i guess more people feel secure about their job, which
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has a salutary effect on spending. >> chairman yellen mentions the quit rate all the time. the number of people who quit herr job is the highest since 2006, 2007. that was before the great recession. that's a good sign. you're beginning to see wages accelerate. still relatively low. wages recently have run in the 2%, 2 1/2% range. before the great recession they were running at the 4% to 5% range. wage growth still low. the fed wants to see that move higher before it raises rates more. but in general the consumer's in the best shape it's been in in almost ten years. >> john, thanks so much. with lpl financial. the changes being made to some of the nation's most popular theme parks at a very busy time of the year. ♪
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♪ russian president vladimir putin says the economic crisis in his country has peaked. or maybe it's troughed. in an annual question and answer session that t lasted more than three hours he predicted a return to economic growth next year. the russian economy has been hard hit by falling oil prices but putin stopped short of committing to any major economic overhauls. in washington the house of representatives passed a bill which provides more than $600 billion in tax breaks to businesses, families, and individual taxpayers. those tax breaks include the permanent extension of the child tax credit, and it delays a tax hike that helps pay for the affordable care act. passage of this bill is the first step in approving the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government. president obama today
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reassured americans on an issue of national security ahead of the holidays. speaking from the national counterterrorism center, the president said the u.s. is fighting isis on three fronts, going after leaders abroad with european allies, and increasing efforts to prevent attacks from individuals already in the u.s. >> at this moment our intelligence and counrterrorism professionals do not have any specific and credible information about an attack on the homeland. that said, we have to be vigilant. >> and he again urged americans not to give int to fear. and though there is no specific threat, disney and other theme parks are increasing their security measures, adding more metal detectors, random screenings and police officers to their parks. and the changes come at a very busy time of year. jane wells reports from disneyland in anaheim. >> reporter: one of the last holdouts in using metal detectors is now changing its ways, and starting today people
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coming to the happiest place on earth will see changes to try and ensure it's also one of th safest places on earth. i snapped these photos today outside the park entrance at disneyland. people coming in will see new rules posted. i'll get to that in a minute. more important they will notice pop-up metal detectors. those are the gray poles back there beyond the usual bag check area. they're also going to see more security dogs. the same thing is happening at disney world in orlando. now, there is no specific threat leading to these changes, but the company is people up security given what's been happening. >> definitely you had to wait in longer lines to get in and they're looking through your bags more compared to yesterday or the day before. >> just because it's just metal detectors it's not really going to change. >> reporter: among the new rules the park will no longer sell nor allow inside toy guns, including "star wars" blasters or squirt guns. and by the way, selfie sticks are also not allowed. and perhaps the biggest change, anyone 14 years or over cannot wear a costume for visual security reasons. >> it's sad we need our
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backpacks check, but if this is going to keep everybody safe and have a magical time i think it's great. >> i just hope and pray that everything is safe in this country and if this is what they have to do they should put those in. >> i actually feel quite secure about it. i think it's a good idea. >> disney says in a statement we continually review our comprehensive approach to security and are implementing security measures as appropriate. other theme parks like universal studios hollywood have also started testing metal detectors. that theme park telling us in a statement that "we've long used metal detection for special events such as halloween horror nights. this is a natural progression for us as we study best practices for security in today's world." back here at disneyland once again there has been no specific threat, just a general beefing up of security given the situation, and outside park gates i did see uniforms anaheim police officers. that is not new but expect to see more of them. for "nightly business report" i'm jane wells in anaheim, california. we begin tonight's market
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focus with red hat posting earnings that topped estimates. the software firm saw its revenue rise in its latest quarter. full-year outlook also beat con sensus. shares rose in initial after-hours trading. during regular trading session the stock was up slightly to 78.86. investors getting a chance to react to a favorable ruling for pandora. the copyright royalty board imposed a music royalty hike of 20% for online music broadcasters, but that's a lot less than what had been expected. shares soared nearly 14% to 15.26. pier one cut its earnings guidance for the year. this as the retailer reported a decline in sales in its third quarter because of weak foot traffic there. the shares fell 20% today, struggling at $4.75. rite aid reporting a double-digit increase in renue and strong same-store sales. even as the pharmacy chains were impacted by the introduction of new generic drugs. shares off a fraction. aig's board has approved a
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$3 billion stock buyback program. the insurance giant's total amount available for repurchasing went to 3.4 billion. shares sell to 16.14. kft cutting helped general mills post an increase in earnings. despite the raise the cheerios maker saw sales decline because of weak demand for cereal. shares tumbled more than 3% to 57.24. lifelock agreeing to pay $100 million to settle charges it failed to properly protect its customers' data. as part of the settlement with regulators, lifelock has to stop misrepresenting how much they can do to protect their users' information. that's according to a court filing. shares fell 2% to 13.99. cerberus capital taking a big stake in avon. the private equity firm has struck a deal to buy 80% of avon's north american business. it's also going to assume a 17% stake in the entire company. shares of avon did move higher after the news only to end the
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day with a fractional move. morgan brennan has more on the deal that involves one of the best-known cosmetics companies globally. >> reporter: ding dong investors calling. today's $600 million deal with cerberus capital management is a far cry from the nearly $11 billion offer avon rejected from cody three years ago. it speaks to just how much the cosmetics company has been struggling. particularly in north america. avon started nearly 130 years ago, recruiting women to sell perfume door to door. the company expanded and flourished for generations as women welcomed avon ladies into their homes, making the catchphrase "ding dong, avon calling" famous. but that's changed. analysts say increased competition from e-commerce, kushsy headwinds and poor managerial decisions have all contributed to avon's troubles in recent years. since 2012 sales have plunged almost 80% and so too has the stock. reports regarding the country's future and specifically its
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north american business have circulated since last year, with the company attracting the attention of activist investo including a group led by barrington capital, which recently disclosed a 3% stake. in response to today's deal barrington ceo james miterotonda claimed"fire sale prices." and after recently calling for cost cutting and replacement of avon ceo cheryl mccoy shid he was "astonished" she will stay at the helm. analysts remained cautious as well. nick mody managing director at rbc capital markets expects earnings to come down further as avon makes much-needed investments to turn itself around. meaning toy's deal is a step in the right direction but that it could be some time before this stock truly becomes a thing of beauty. for "nightly business report" i'm morgan brennan. coming up, now that the fed has raised rates, will the red hot media merger activity begin to cool off? ♪
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♪ here's a look at what to watch tomorrow. the house of representatives will vote on the spending bill. disney's "star wars: the force awakens" hits theaters. and it could be the biggest movie debut of all time. and on wall street it is quadruple witching. so there may be some extra volatility in the markets. and that is what to watch friday. volkswagen is tapping attorney kenneth fineberg to run its emissions scandal claims program. fineberg most recently ran the compensation fund for victims of general lmotors' defective
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ignition switches. volkswagen says fineberg's experience would help the automaker make things right with its customers and move the company forward. j.d. power predicts a strong month for auto sales in december, so strong that the firm says americans will buy more cars, more trukds this month than during any other month in more than a decade. december traditionally a strong month for vehicle sales with consumers taking advantage of those widely advertised year-end discounts. mortgage rates rose last week ahead of the federal reserve's meeting on interest rates. freddie mac says the rate on the 30-year fixed rose to 3.97% and says it expects interest rates on home loans to move higher throughout the coming year. one day after the federal reserve lifted interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, former central bank chairman alan greenspan spoke at the council of foreign relations in new york city, where steve liesman presided over the discussion. while greenspan didn't say much about yesterday's decision, he did say current chair janet yellen did a good job preparing the market for it. >> as it became apparent that
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the fed was going to just raise the rates and then not do a whole series of rates, then basically the markets just said the uncertainty is gone. therefore, you remove uncertainty, income-moving assets go straight up. and this is just a classic case of this. >> mr. greenspan also said that congress has to do more to support the economy. >> reporter: well, now that the fed has started the process of hike rates, some wonder what the impact will be on all of the sectors that have benefited all these years from low rates, including the media industry. julia boorstin takes a look. with charter planning to buy time warner cable for $80 million, media m&a has been on a hot streak. but now there are questions of whether the fed's rate hike will cool dealmaking as the end of cheap money raises the bar for
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megadeals going forward. >> this action marks the end of an extraordinary seven-year period during which the federal funds rate was held near zero to support the recovery of the economy from the worst financial crisis and recession since the great depression. >> 55% of dealmakers say they're concerned that higher rates will impact m&a activity according to a survey by interlinks. both pricewaterhousecoopers' media and communications partner bart spiegel says he doesn't expect higher rates to impact the big players because their primary currency is cash and stock. spiegel says "for those entertainment and media companies operating in the middle market space this may make deal financing more challenging as rates increase. as a result these increased debt costs could reduce valuations on acquisition acquisitions." that could impact digital startups that produce video for youtube as well as publishing and ad tech companies. with media undergoing a massive
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transformation, viewers increasingly cutting the cord with traditional tv bundles, there's pressure for companies big and small to team up. john malone on a buying spree himself telling cnbc last month more deals are inevitable. >> scale is very important. you make it once, you distribute it enormously. and stability comes from scale. so it wouldn't surprise me to see consolidation in that space. >> reporter: spiegel says companies are a successful business model will remain attractive even in this new higher interest rate environment. for nbls nnls i"nightly busines i'm julia boorstin in los angeles. before we go let's take another look at this down day on wall street that snapped a three-day win streak and wiped out yesterday's stock market gains. the dow jones industrial average off a big 253 points. it closed at 17,495. nasdaq dropped 68. and the s&p 500 fell 31. stocks pressured by a decline in oil prices. domestic crude settled, sue,
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below $35 a barrel. well, lower gas prices straight ahead, right? >> lower gas prices straight ahead. and you outed me on not having started my christmas shopping. >> you'd better get out there and start shopping. or the stockings will be empty. that will do it for "nightly business report" for tonight. i'm sue herera. thanks for joining us. >> and i'm tyler mathisen. i'll be shopping soon. have a great evening, everyone. we'll see you here tomorrow night. ♪ ♪
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captioning by vitac, underwritten by fireman's fund announcer: the following kqed production was produced in hi-definition. ♪ >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food is just fabulous. >> i should be a psychoanalyst for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were at the same restaurant and everybody, i'm sure, saved room for those desserts.
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♪ hi, i'm leslie sbrocco. welcome to "check, please!" bay area. the show where regular bay area residents review and talk about their favorite resan

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